Akron, Ohio - Kristina Thorson continued to have the Racers hitters' number as she shut out Akron for the second time this series, leading Philadelphia to a 2-0 victory.
Thorson had a no hitter going through 3.1 innings. Racer catcher Kristen Butler broke up the "no-no" in the bottom of the fourth when she delivered a one out single to right field. The Force starter received her second complete game victory of the weekend only allowing three hits, a hit batter and one walk, while striking out eight in seven innings of work.
Saturday's performance gave Thorson (11-4) 14.2 innings of shut out softball on the weekend while only allowing seven hits and five walks, while striking out fifteen Racer hitters. The eleventh win also tied her for second place in the league in wins with Sarah Pauly and Akron's Jamee Juarez.
Alicia Hollowell pitched nearly as well as Thorson, but defense was the achilles' heel for the Racers once again as the four errors committed Saturday made eleven on the weekend.
The trouble began in the top of the second for the Racers as Jenna Hall started the inning with a single to centerfield. Back to back bunt singles by Kellie Wilkerson and Trena Peel loaded the bases with nobody out. Hollowell struck out Ashley Smith for the first out of the inning. Catcher Kristen Butler attempted to throw to third base to get McDonald leaning on the strike out, but the ball hit the runner in the back and bounced away. McDonald scored on the throwing error to make the score 1-0.
Hollowell would go on to get the next two batters to hit a foul pop and strike out, respectively, to get out of the jam, with what should have been no runs.
Errors would impact the score again in the top of the third inning. After Sharonda McDonald reached on a base hit to left field, Chelsea Spencer hit a ball to second. Racer second baseman Veronica Wootson threw the ball down the right field line allowing McDonald to score from first and Spencer to get around to third base. The error was Wootson's second of the game and made the score 2-0.
That would be all the offense Philadelphia would need and get as Hollowell didn't give up a hit in the final four innings and only allowed one player to reach base on a throwing error by herself. Hollowell (1-3) picked up the tough loss going the full seven innings, allowing two unearned runs on four hits and one walk while striking out four.
Akron's best opportunity to score came in the bottom of the fifth inning, shortstop Kristin Johnson led off with a double to left field. Jamee Juarez sacrificed her to third with one out. However, Tracee McCoy struck out swinging for the second out. The inning came to an end when Philadelphia leftfielder, Stacie Pestrak laid out to make a diving catch on a line drive hit by Veronica Wootson. Pestrak took away a hit that would have scored Johnson and most likely gotten past her to give Wootson extra bases.
The Racers were never able to get more than one runner on base in any one inning, making it tough to find offense.
Akron heads out of town next week for two series, the first against the Chicago Bandits begins tomorrow and runs through Wednesday. Then they head East to New England to take on the Riptide in a four-game set beginning next Friday. They conclude their regular season with their next home series against the Michigan Ice August 16-19.
You can contact the Akron Racer ticket office at (330) 376-8188 for more information on the final home series of the season against the Michigan Ice.